GYA Appeal 2016: Two involved the Junior Lipton’s and is by far the most interesting and most awaited decisions as it determined the outcome of the Uncle Roy Trophy, i.e. the winner of the last race, the Junior Lipton Series, and the Capdevielle Regatta results. This appeal took over seven months and seven hearings, including three at the appeal level.
There were several issues involved which were compounded by several mistakes made by a number of different people. This is being stated with no intent to point any fingers at any individuals who have donated their time to the process, and much was learned by all, including the GYA Appeals Committee.
During the fifth race of the Junior Lipton’s the weather was rapidly deteriorating and the Race Committee decided to abandon further racing for that day. After completion of race in progress they displayed code flag N over A which indicates that all races are abandoned, no more racing for the day. Therefore if the flag were properly displayed any race underway is abandoned and there is no more racing for the day. Properly displayed includes proper sound signals. This last point is important because the lack of sound signal was not brought out until the appeal was in the hands of U.S. Sailing. An important point is sound signals are not required as part of the starting sequence, but otherwise they are required. This is not often taught in any of the seminars for RC or PC, or judges.
The RC should have displayed AP over A or AP over H, both of which apply to races not started. At the finish a separate boat was doing finishes and the RC signal boat displayed the flag some distance from the finish and tried to signal in a way to notify boats after finishing that further racing was abandoned. Three requests for redress were made after the boats had reached the dock. One of the requests for redress was granted since this individual boat had a worse finish due to an error of the Race Committee in abandoning the race which affected her finishing position. The other two requests for redress were denied as the error of the RC did not affect their finishes. One of the requests for redress was properly appealed to U.S. Sailing which, per the rules – was referred to GYA Appeals Committee. The person requesting the forms went to the host club to obtain documentation and not to the judges as should have been the case. The GYA Appeals Committee received two different sets of documentation, which required additional time to review to make certain that no rules had been broken in the process. The GYA Appeals Committee indeed determined that N over A had been flown and that this was done while some boats were still racing. The GYA Appeals Committee did not ask whether sound signals were involved and decided that Race 5 had been abandoned but since that was the case it possibly could affect the final scores of all other boats. The Appeals Committee asked that a hearing be conducted to consider the redress for all competitors since the abandonment of the race could affect anyone of or all of the competitors.
The PC decided that the parties who were requesting the redress should not be granted redress as their finishing positions were not affected by the abandonment.
The GYA Appeals Committee held that the race should be reinstated because the fairest results for all competitors under Rule 64.2 was to allow the race to stand as is except for the one granting of redress to the party who was prejudiced by the error of the Race Committee.
This was then appealed to U.S. Sailing, who requested that the hearing be reopened to determine several questions, one of which was whether the three sound signals had been given when the N over A flags were displayed. This was referred back to a PC and it was determined that there was no sound signals when N over A was raised. U.S. Appeals decided that Race 5 was not properly abandoned and that Race 5 should be scored accordingly.
The most interesting question that the GYA Appeals Committee thought was important was not answered by U.S. Sailing, that is, can a race once abandoned be reinstated.
Anyone wanting copies of any of the above decisions can contact me via phone or email and this information is in the GYA 2017 Directory.
Also be advised there is a new form for filing U.S. Sailing Appeals which can be found on the U.S. Sailing website.
Lastly I thank my committee of Chris Luppens, Jim Tichenor and Don Griglack.
Dwight LeBlanc, Jr.
Chair, GYA Appeal Committee